US women’s national team captain and current Portland Thorns player Becky Sauerbrunn revealed her take on the future of the NWSL, insisting that there exist "organizations that need to be invested in further."
Sauerbrunn is no stranger to the American league, standing as one of the most prominent players since its creation in 2012. She’s worked herself through the ranks, kicking off with the Boston Renegades in 2005 and playing for several W-League teams before officially launching her NWSL career with FC Kansas City.
FCKC eventually ceased operations in 2017, sending her players rights to the Utah Royals. She managed one season with the team ahead of her move to the Portland Thorns in March 2020.
Almost ten years later, the center-back admits NWSL still has work to do.
"What's next for the NWSL, I still think that there are organizations that need to be invested in further, whether it's in their training environments, whether it's staffing, technical staffing, medical staffing, those kind of things. I still think that there are gains to be made in those areas. I would love to see more broadcasting deals and bigger sponsorships and putting more money into those parts of the game because I think this product is so good, it needs to be seen by more people," she said on the latest episode of Football Americana.
"So I would really love to see playing on Big CBS more often, just to get more views. Sponsorship, I already said. I think expansion is huge. There seems to be a lot of interest. I think the more expansion with teams, even if they're tied with MLS or not, just having those groups coming in, I think, garnering a lot of interest is huge. I would love to see more events, like Concacaf Champions League. I think that would be great if we could start doing something like that."
Yael Averbuch West hosts Portland Thorns and USWNT figure Becky Sauerbrunn for the latest episode of Football Americana. The iconic player revealed her take on the future of the NWSL and which players she thinks will become revolutionary. Sauerbrunn also explained the CBA, and the impact it may have on future players everywhere. Tune in to hear the latest on US sports.
While the rate may be slower than desired, the NWSL does seem to be expanding. The San Diego Wave and Angel City FC are currently in their inaugural season, as commissioner Jessica Berman hints at a new side in 2024. But all competition is limited to the United States. The NWSL currently does not participate in any official international competition, only holding the Challenge Cup and regular season for the 12 participating clubs.
Teams are taking it upon themselves to reach beyond the American league, with the Portland Thorns and Angel City hosting independent tournaments with sides from Liga MX Femenil and the WSL.
The NWSL is progressing, but Sauerbrunn maintains the product is worth more backing.